Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 14

This next chapter is really short, like only 2 verses long. And again it covers the proper procedure for services.
Chapter 14: The Celebration of of Vigils on the Anniversaries of Saints


  1. On the feasts of saints, and indeed on all solemn festivals, the Sunday order of celebration is followed,
  2. although the psalms, refrains and readings proper to the day itself are said. The procedure, however, remains the same as indicated above.
Another reason for the note that I made yesterday was to also explain this chapter today. Remember that yesterday I explained that there was a difference in practices between East and West as well as among other jurisdictions. This holds true for saints that are celebrated. Surely, by this time the Orthodox Church has more than 365 saints, and the same was true in St. Benedicts time. However, celebrating whichever saints was often times left up to the local bishop and sometimes parish. Still today, one may notice a difference in saints celebrated in the Greek Archdiocese and the saints celebrated in the Antiochian Archdiocese. What saints are celebrated by certain jurisdictions depend on whatever "menologion" is being used. In the West they used a "martyrology" which contained pretty much only universally recognized saints (inter-jurisdiction types).

What "universally recognized" means is that those saints were recognized through out all of Christendom, such as the Apostles, St. Ignatius (of Antioch), and probably many others which I won't include here due to space constraints. These days, most of the older saints are universally recognized - but not necessarily included in a menologion - and newer saints will be canonized either at a local (parish) level, or by a bishop, or entire jurisdiction; from there the saint may be formally recognized by the other bishops and other jurisdiction - though there is nothing keeping individuals from celebrating saints cross-jurisdiction.

So, having explained in more detail than I really wanted to, it goes without saying (probably) that not every day is one that a parish/monastery will celebrate a feast/saint on. I've never been to a monastery, so I don't really know since they already usually celebrate Liturgy every day. But it is evident from what Saint Benedict has written that at least during his time that it was not the case to celebrate a saint everyday, but when they did celebrate a saint this chapter covered those rubrics.





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